Download Dirt and disease: polio before FDR by Naomi Rogers PDF

By Naomi Rogers

"Will have an enthusiastic viewers between historians of drugs who're standard, for the main half, in basic terms with later twentieth-century efforts to strive against polio." --Allan M. Brandt, collage of North Carolina airborne dirt and dust and affliction is a social, cultural, and scientific heritage of the polio epidemic within the usa. Naomi Rogers makes a speciality of the early years from 1900 to 1920, and maintains the tale to the current. She explores how scientists, physicians, sufferers, and their households defined the looks and unfold of polio and the way they attempted to deal with it. Rogers frames this learn of polio inside a collection of bigger questions about overall healthiness and affliction in twentieth-century American tradition. within the early a long time of this century, scientists sought to appreciate the character of polio. they discovered that it was once because of a virulent disease, and that it may well frequently be clinically determined by means of studying spinal fluid. even supposing clinical information regarding polio used to be understood and authorised, it was once now not consistently definitive. this data coexisted with conventional notions approximately sickness and medication. Polio struck filthy rich and middle-class young children in addition to the bad. yet specialists and public health and wellbeing officers still blamed polio on a grimy city setting, undesirable hygiene, and poverty. This allowed them to carry slum-dwelling immigrants accountable, and to think that sanitary schooling and quarantines may decrease the unfold of the illness. even if specialists said that polio struck the middle-class and native-born in addition to immigrants, they attempted to give an explanation for this away by means of blaming the fly for the unfold of polio. Flies may perhaps land indiscriminately at the wealthy and the terrible. within the Nineteen Thirties, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped to recast identical to polio and to take away its stigma. not anyone might forget about the cross-spread of the disorder. by way of the Nineteen Fifties, the general public used to be trying to technology for prevention and remedy. yet Rogers reminds us that the new historical past of polio was once greater than the historical past of winning vaccines. She issues to competing cures, learn tangents, and those that died from early vaccine trials. Naomi Rogers is an assistant professor of background on the college of Alabama.

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Not surprisingly, the public expressed dissatisfaction with science and scientists during polio epidemics. "49 Elite scientific experts were not the only group concerned Page 26 about polio. Local doctors, sanitarians, and health officials, and of course the public, also contributed to the debate. Physicians who wrote to local medical journals offered their experience of one or two cases. 50 Some polio fighters were career sanitarians and public health workers rather than scientists or private practitioners.

A fear of dirt and immigrants played an important part in helping them identify the guilty and the innocent. Integrating the germ theory did not solve the problem of determining responsibility for disease. Some groups were still believed more culpable than others. Page 9 CHAPTER ONE Garden of Germs: Polio in the United States, 1900-1920 In 1917 Manton M. Carrick, a reform-minded Texas physician, came to New York City and paid a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. " A new germ had just been added to the seven hundred already displayed in a glass case: the polio germ.

S. Public Health Service. A survey of forty-seven state boards of health in 1914 found that most used their laboratories to examine water and milk, and only twenty conducted original research. State-funded research tended to be aimed at immediate health problems such as infected food or outbreaks of disease. During 1914, for example, the state board of health of Florida conducted research on the bacterial flora of soda fountain glasses; its counterpart in Kansas studied the problem of spoiled canned food47 By 1916 scientists had developed two bacteriological techniques to try to solve the problems of diagnosing and treating polio.

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